Three members of this season’s PDRL Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos team have been named as part of a 15-man squad Wales squad for the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup this Autumn.
Both Dylan Hughes and Chris Young were part of the first ever Leeds Rhinos PDRL side who helped establish the sport on these shores back in 2018, and they will now be part of another historic event on home soil after receiving World Cup call-ups for Wales alongside their red-shorts teammate Isaac Pickett.
Head Coach Craig Fisher named his squad earlier today, which also includes a further seven PDRL Super League stars from the Salford Red Devils outfit- a partner club of Wales Rugby League- and a further five players who are involved in the Mixed Ability Rugby game in South Wales (MARU), which has slightly different rules to PDRL.
PDRL is an adapted version of rugby league aimed at facilitating those with physical disabilities the opportunity to play. It is a nine-a-side running format of the game, and is both full contact and touch, based on disability which is signified by the colour of a player’s shorts.
Wales have been training for the groundbreaking PDRL World Cup tournament for over a year now, which takes place in Warrington from Sunday 23 October with “The Dragons”, England, Australia and New Zealand taking on each other in a round robin format at Victoria Park, before the final takes place on Sunday 30 October at the Halliwell Jones Stadium following Samoa v France in the men’s Rugby League World Cup.
With less than a month to go now until the competition gets underway, Fisher, along with all his players selected today, is very much excited to lead his country out on the international stage.
“This is the first time that Wales will enter a PDRL team into a World Cup or indeed any international tournament,” Fisher said. “We have based our recruitment on a number of different sports, which has meant that we have had to coach and support many of the players as to how to play rugby league and teach them the nuances of PDRL.
“We have assembled a special group of individuals who are committed and ready to put their stamp on the tournament, and represent Wales in the same way that our athletes in other variants of rugby league have done – with pride, passion and an unwavering will to succeed.
“We have done as much homework on our opposition as we can and we understand the threats each team will pose to us. We just need to stick to our processes and work harder than they intend to on the day.
“Whatever the outcome, the Wales PRDL team will be ready and will entertain, and who knows, maybe, just maybe, we bring home a championship.”
Tickets for the PDRL World Cup Final, which follow the Men’s World Cup fixture between Samoa and France, are available now from https://www.rlwc2021.com/tickets. Entry to all group games at Victoria Park will be free of charge, for a full list of dates please CLICK HERE.
Wales PDRL World Cup squad:
Robert Carpenter (Cardiff Chiefs MARU), Dylan Hughes, Isaac Pickett, Chris Young (all Leeds Rhinos PDRL), Chris Spriggs (Llanelli Warriors MARU), Daniel Shaw (Pembrokeshire Vikings MARU), Nick Harris, Justin Martin (both Port Talbot Panthers MARU), Morgan Jones, Paul Jones, Tyma Hughes, Ben Lewis, Stewart Newton, Connor Rice, Leif Thobroe (all Salford Red Devils PDRL).